Elementary school students in Halifax and Boston have formed a special partnership to learn about the history of Nova Scotia’s annual Christmas tree gift to Boston. The two classes met via Skype today, Nov. 5, for their second conversation. Over the next few weeks, students will learn more about the relationship between their two cities and the history of the Tree Lighting in Boston. On Dec. 6, 1917, the Halifax Explosion killed close to 2,000 people, injured hundreds and destroyed more than 1,600 homes, making it the largest man-made explosion in history. The people of Boston offered help and support to Nova Scotians in the aftermath. Since 1971, Nova Scotians have given the people of Boston a Christmas tree as a thank you for their kindness. Deputy Premier Frank Corbett and two members of the RCMP will visit the students in Boston next month, before participating in the official tree lighting on Nov. 29. “Boston came to our aid immediately. We will never forget that act of kindness,” said Mr. Corbett. “I’m so glad our children continue to learn about this special relationship, forged during a difficult time in our history.” Each year, a Nova Scotia family donates a Christmas tree from their property. The province sends it to Boston where it is lit during a special televised ceremony on Boston Common. “We are thrilled to be a part of this special tradition,” said Kelly Dodge, Grade 4/5 teacher at Saint Stephen’s School in Halifax. “I’m glad we’re able to help this generation understand the story behind the tree, the generosity of our American friends, and our continuing efforts to thank them for that kindness.” The students from Boston will help welcome the Nova Scotia tree when it arrives in Boston on Nov. 16. “My students are so excited about this partnership,” said Mary Kate McKinnon, Grade 4 teacher at Mather Elementary in Boston. “They want to know about Nova Scotia and the reason behind this wonderful tree tradition.” To learn more, visit http://novascotia.ca/TreeforBoston. To follow the tree’s journey to Boston via social media, visit www.Facebook.com/TreeforBoston or follow @TreeforBoston on Twitter.